guishable in the darkness. Down the slight slope ahead, the
few lights of the town were visible. They are lights in the
streets, Mr. Munn thought, and in houses; and in other
houses, the houses that are dark, people are sleeping. Behind
him the metal of horseshoes chinked and rang on the gravel
of the pike with a steady sound.
The head of the column reached the end of the slope.
There the first houses were, jumbled shacks set back in tree-
less yards, their grey masses undefined in the darkness. This
was nigger town. In one shack a lamp was burning. Mr.
Munn saw it as he rode past, and could catch a glimpse of
the board table on which it sat and of the bare interior of
the room, and he remembered how the wavering lamps had
lighted those other cabins that night when he had hunted the
" Twelve-thirty," Doctor MacDonald said. " Burrus ought
to be in the telephone office by now."
"Yes," Mr. Munn replied.
"And the wires down," Doctor MacDonald added.
The column swept into a regular street. The houses, beyond
the bare trees, were darkened. The street lights were out.
They passed a fork in the street, where another street joined
at an angle, and Mr. Munn, turning in his saddle, could
dimly see that the last section of the column was diverging
into the other street. It would cover, he knew, that entrance
to the town.
Far away, almost lost in the sound of hoofs, there was the
report of a gun. Then, immediately, a volley, followed by a
few spattering explosions, all innocent and unimpressive from
distance. For an instant, Mr. Munn scarcely grasped the
meaning of the sound; then he knew that it was Mr. Mur-
dochs men. They had hit the Cherry Creek bridge and were
" West," the man on the other side of Doctor MacDonald
said, and cocked his head. " It's west, and it's Murdock."
" Here goes," Doctor MacDonald announced in a conversa-
tional tone, but as though he had not heard the other man.